A free-to-play Lord of the Rings MMO is being developed by Amazon

2007's Lord of the Rings Online (Image credit: Turbine)

Amazon Game Studios' latest project is an MMO based on Lord of the Rings in collaboration with Chinese publisher Leyou Technologies Holdings. It will be a free-to-play affair and let players explore Middle-earth with mates long before the events of the trilogy. 

There is of course already a Lord of the Rings MMO, Lord of the Rings Online (seen in the screenshot above), which is positively antediluvian by MMO standards, launching 12 years ago. Unlike Amazon's adaptation, however, it follows Tolkien's trilogy and lets you see what was going on in the rest of Middle-earth while all this bad business was going down.  

Despite a premise that echoes Amazon's upcoming Lord of the Rings TV series, the pair are apparently unrelated. The MMO was actually announced in 2018, before Amazon's involvement, when Leyou subsidiary Athlon Games revealed a partnership with Middle-earth Enterprises. As with the announcement today, details about the game itself were sparse. 

The team will include developers from Amazon's other MMO, New World, which is also still in development. It's a crafting, PvP sandbox that aims to be largely systems-driven. 

The Lord of the Rings MMO doesn't even have a name yet, so expect the release date to be quite far off. 

Fraser Brown
Online Editor

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long or talking about his dog.